Fakarava, Tuamotu

Monday 6/17/2013 14:00 16 31.403 S 145 28.408 W http://maps.google.com/?z=7&t=k&q=loc:16%2031.403S%20145%2028.408W Fakarava, Tuamotu Posting by Dennis: We have been here now for six days. The first couple of days we spent exploring the little atolls that are just off the bow. We had a fire on the beach one night with Dreamtime and Estrellita. The next day while I was trying to repairing the grill, which I failed at, Barb added to the graffiti and added the signature ‘Land Fall 2013’ on the floating bar that was there along with other tables and benches that the cruisers have built around the fire ring. At night by flashlight we searched for a glimpse of the elusive coconut crab that lives on the atolls, with no success. I went and tried spear fishing. I think that I am going to try to buy one when I am in Tahiti. It is a lot of fun and gives you a purpose to go out and explore the coral heads that litter the lagoons of the atolls. Some of the coral heads that we have gone out to are four or five miles from the boat so one needs a good dingy and motor. You use a lot of gas running around. The last couple of days we have been snorkeling the pass which is the channel that you go into and out of the atolls. The snorkeling is incredible; you just fly along over the coral that is alive with all kinds of fish. You get used to having all the sharks around. A lot of the time you can see four or five at a time. They said that a couple of weeks ago a six meter hammerhead was seen in the pass with a five foot gray shark in its mouth. I would love to see that. The reef sharks we see are only five or six feet max and are pretty skittish if you try to swim much closer than three or four feet from them. It is like fling through an aquarium, with the unbelievably brightly colored fish. We are trying to take some under water pictures without much success, they just will not hold still long enough. So don’t look for many focused pictures to show up on the blog. Last night we were watching a movie and all of the sudden we hear a hard clunking noise, so we went on deck to check the anchor and the chain was tight straight down, which meant that it was snagged on a coral head. So at eleven o’clock I put on my snorkel gear and went over the side. With the dive light I could see that it was wrapped around the coral head so I had Barb start the engine and let out some more chain while I dove to the bottom and untangled the chain from the coral head. It took me several dives before I was able to get it all unhooked. Then I had Barb back down on the anchor and reset it. I turned off my light and it was really neat snorkeling around by moon light. It gives the coral heads dark eerie feel against the white coral bottom. Shortly I was back on the boat, rinsed off and we resumed with the movie. I love movie night, we have popcorn and lay and watch the laptop. Tonight we had another bonfire on the beach. There were probably eight dingys anchored just off the shore, you never run your dingy onto shore, the coral eats them. It was a great time chatting with people from all over the world and all heading to new and exciting places. Everyone is sharing information about different islands and were to go and were not to go. I find it very enlightening and I learn so much. Tomorrow we will be leaving this anchorage and heading to the West end of the atoll, it should be an easy forty mile sail.

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